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US-led coalition strikes on Daesh sparing: Russia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ©Reuters

Russia has criticized as "sparing" the US-led coalition’s airstrikes on purported positions held by the Daesh terrorists in Syria, saying the alliance’s objective is to undermine the Syrian army. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks in an interview with the Vesti.doc program of the Rossiya-1 television channel aired on Tuesday.

"An analysis of the strikes delivered by the United States and its coalition at terrorist positions over the past year drives us to a conclusion that these were selective, I would say sparing, strikes and in the majority of cases spared those ISIS (Daesh) groups that were capable of pressing the Syrian army,” Lavrov said.

“This is a rather dangerous and definitely dubious game which does not give the idea of what the United States really wants," he added.

The top Russian diplomat further described Washington's policy in Syria as “sitting on two chairs.”

The US-led coalition wants Daesh to “weaken” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Lavrov said, adding that the alliance does not want the militant group to “strengthen too much either because it may grab power afterwards."

“Our opinion of the developments after the anti-terrorist operation was launched in August 2014 is based on what we see and we see next to no concrete results but for the expansion of the ISIS over this time,” Lavrov said.

Since September 2014, the US along with some of its allies has been conducting air raids against what are said to be the Daesh terrorists inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. The air assaults in Syria are an extension of the US-led aerial campaign against purported Daesh positions in Iraq, which started in August 2014. Analysts say the attacks have failed to disband the extremists.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Russian foreign minister further rejected as groundless the accusations that Moscow is striking civilians in Syria.”

“We are doing this consistently and we are not dividing terrorists into those who could help solve some tactical tasks in the hope to end with them later, but are striking out at all who one way or another practice and preach terrorist ideology.”

Russia launched its first airstrikes against Takfiri terrorists in Syria on September 30 at the request of the Damascus government. Moscow says its air raids are meant to weaken Daesh and other terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in Syria.

Global anti-terror coalition

A woman lays flowers near the French embassy to commemorate victims of the recent Paris terrorist attacks, in Moscow, Russia, November 15, 2015. ©Reuters

In another development on Tuesday, Lavrov called for the formation of a truly global combat coalition against terrorism as he wrote in the book of condolence on the recent deadly Paris terrorist attacks at the French embassy in Moscow.

The November 13 attacks, which were claimed by Daesh, left 132 people dead and more than 350 others wounded.

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